HI! MY name is Alaura, and I have decided to make an account here because of my new betta Rocket, he is my 3rd betta, but my first male. I just want him to stay healthy, and want to know how to fix any illness or problem he might encounter. He is a beautiful Dragon Scale Betta, with a turquoise colored body, and red fins with black tips. The other females I have gotten were less active, and way tinier and less decorative. They both got sick and died in a short time. But this time I will make sure to know what I'm working with.
I will post pictures as soon as possible.
Welcome aboard! I forget who but one member says "most ailments are initially caused by poor water conditions, you're not keeping fish, you're keeping water" so remember to treat your water and change it often. To post pictures the steps are "go advanced" "manage attachments" "select photos" "upload" "close window" "post"... That's all the initial advice I can think of, welcome again!
The one single piece of advice that I think is the most vital to successful fishkeeping is this: Know the aquarium nitrogen cycle!!
As bikeridinguckgirl14 said, water quality is the #1 most important aspect of fishkeeping, and you can't keep good water if you don't understand the nitrogen cycle.
Also, some betta specific advice (which is often exactly the opposite from what pet store employees have probably told you):
1) Bettas are tropical fish and NEED a heater. The ideal water temp is 78-82 degrees; I like mine at 80.
2) Bettas greatly appreciate space to swim. I'd say a minimum of 5 gallons, but others often cite a minimum of 2.5 gallons to keep a betta healthy and happy. For me, I prefer 10 gallons/fish.
3) Filters can be used in larger tanks to maintain a cycle (something I highly recommend as it is easier on the fish and owner), they just need to be baffled/constructed to keep water movement at a minimum.
4) Feed your betta twice a day. A few good quality betta pelllets OR a few frozen bloodworms OR a few frozen brine shrimp (or other frozen goodies) qualifies as a meal. Don't overfeed, but bettas certainly need to be fed more than once per week as some pet stores will advocate.
Good luck with your new betta!! Keeping these fish properly really is a rewarding experience due to their wonderful personalities. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have and everyone here is happy to help!
Thank you so much for welcoming me, I want to know as much as I can about bettas, so thank you for the facts you have given me, I will make sure to take very good care of the water, and make sure my betta is happy.
Also, lots of plants will help keep your water super clean, and the best plants for a gravel-based tank are things like java ferns, java moss, moss balls, and floating plants if you like those. Some people put "lucky bamboo" (which isn't really bamboo but whatever) in the tank with the top sticking in the air (don't submerge it totally or it'll rot). That's another good plant. None of those need special light, fertilizers, or substrate. Don't buy plants without researching them--you can waste a lot of money if you don't know what you're getting.
Make sure you have these basic things:
1. Water conditioner. Prime's the best recommended around here.
2. GOOD betta food. If more than one of the first three ingredients involves wheat, it's probably not that great. Omega One pellets and New Life Spectrum are awesome brands of food. Aqueon pellets are so-so. Hikari pellets are... blech.
3. Aquarium salt AND Epsom salt. They're different things, and chances are you'll need one or both eventually (and when you do, the sooner you have them the better). You can use these to treat fish that are just getting sick and help prevent them needing medicine.
4. Plenty of cover for your fish. If you can see him easily every time you look at the tank, there isn't enough cover. Small terracotta pots are a favorite, and can be bought cheaply. I'm partial to live plants like the ones I mentioned above. There's a whole section of this forum dedicated to habitats and accessories to keep your fish happy, including numerous DIY projects, so check it out!
5. He's in a tank that's at least a gallon and a half, right? With a heater? And a thermometer?
Thanks for all the tips! It means a lot, and I will make sure I have all the needed materials for my fish. I did have Rocket in a very small little cylinder betta keeper, but now he is in a much bigger space.